How Blockchain Technology Can Improve America’s Infrastructure

This piece first appeared in Forbes. America’s infrastructure is often described as crumbling, broken-down, and out-of-date by politicians from both sides. While the reality isn’t so dire, there are obvious infrastructure issues throughout the country, such as New York’s subway, D.C.’s metro, and almost any road in Michigan. So even though the country’s infrastructure is not as bad as some suggest, we …

Social Security Helped Slash Elderly Poverty to 9.2 Percent in the 20th Century – that Triumph is now in Jeopardy

My research shows job opportunities are increasing most rapidly in positions that pay less than US$30,000 thanks to automation as well as the growing demand for personal services – and the accompanying low wages. These types of jobs do not share as much in the fruits of economic growth.

Policy Pub: What Did We Learn from the 2018 Midterm Elections?

Ultimately, today’s political agenda is largely lacking in genuine policy substance—it is almost entirely focused on the character of the President and his fitness for office. This is troubling in light of the very real problems our country faces.

Social Science Chart of the Day: Voting Blocs from the 1980s to 2018

Want to learn more about voting bloc patterns over time? Check out The New York Times piece by K.K. Rebecca Lai and Allison McCann. They show how voting blocs by gender, age, race and income have change over time.  

Social Science Scholar: Interning with Running Start

My summer in DC allowed me to see the inner-workings of a women-focused non-profit while giving me the flexibility to work on my thesis. Currently, I am in the process of applying to various law schools. I am plan to earn my J.D. and work for the government in some capacity, either in Florida or in DC.

Social Science Chart of the Day: Value of U.S. Top Imports from China

Last week, President Trump noted would be willing to tax additional products from China. He decision, it seems, depends in part on what happens at the G20 meeting this weekend. Statista put together a chart listing some of the products that might be on Trump's target list. 

The Cultural Landscape of Thanksgiving

In the years to follow the first Thanksgiving, the holiday was only sporadically recognized. The early presidents proclaimed days of Thanksgiving, but the federal government stopped recognizing the holiday in the early nineteenth-century. It was only in amidst the national disunity of the Civil War that Lincoln re-established the holiday as a means to reaffirm a sense of national unity. In this context, the story of the original Thanksgiving garnered new meaning, representing an ideal of people sharing a land together in spite of their differences.

There Is More to Women’s Political Participation than Voting

Journalists covering the 2018 mid-term elections enjoy spinning out narratives about cleavages in American society when it comes to voting. The gender gap is one of the tales they can weave together through data and first-person accounts. While gender differences in voting patterns are certainly important, it comfortably fits with a broader tendency to downplay women’s leadership and engagement throughout history. It is critical that we remind journalists, our students, and ourselves, that the gender gap in voting does not capture women’s political contributions or their political diversity. Women’s engagement matters well beyond their votes.       

Is Infrastructure the Silver Bullet to Rural Poverty?

We have three key findings: (1) nationally, the construction of the ADHS increased income by 0.4 percent (2) about half of the benefits occur in counties outside of the ARC (3) despite these modest gains, they are not large enough to break the cycle of poverty in Appalachia. Had the ADHS not been built, incomes in Appalachia would be lower than they are today. However, the region is still in decline, so at best the construction of the ADHS only softened the fall.

Americans’ Support for Torture

Our findings are sobering and call into question the extent to which public opinion can serve as a bulwark in the protection of a fundamental, universally-recognized human right.  Indeed, that we were able to observe normatively negative effects with such a “mild” terror cue involving no fatalities or hard evidence of wrongdoing underscores how malleable public opinion can be when threat is raised.  Perhaps more troubling, our results suggest that citizens support for torture can be activated by appealing to an individual’s perception of threat.  Americans’ attitudes toward government torture are malleable precisely when governments are most likely to have an interest in engaging in abuse…under conditions of threat.  Our results suggest that democratic institutions, such as constitutional protections and independent courts are likely stronger safeguards against government torture than public opinion.